Army officer defuses landmine in J-K’s Rajouri, second one kills him

FEBRUARY 16, 2019

An Army officer has been killed and a soldier injured in an IED blast near the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, a defence spokesperson said on Saturday.

Sources said the officer and soldier, who were out on patrol, had spotted freshly-dug soil on the dirt track.(PTI/Picture for representation) 

An Army officer was killed on Saturday while defusing an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which had been planted by terrorists in Laam area in Naushera sector of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir, official sources said. A soldier was also injured in the blast.

The IED was planted 1.5 km inside the Line of Control.

The officer, a Major, belonged to the army’s corps of engineers.

The officer’s death comes amid national outrage over the Pulwama suicide bombing that killed 40 CRPF jawans on Thursday. Defence spokesperson Lt Col Devender Anand said the explosion on Saturday that killed the officer took place around 3 pm.

“At about 1500 hours (3 pm) on Saturday, mines were detected during sanitisation of a track in Nowshera sector. Major Chitresh Singh Bisht, who was leading the bomb disposal team, defused one of the mines successfully. While neutralising another mine, the device got activated and the officer suffered grievous injuries and attained martyrdom,” said defence spokesman Lt Col Devender Anand.

Maj Bisht, aged 31 years, belonged to Dehradun, Uttarakhand and is survived by his parents. “Maj Chitresh Singh Bisht was a brave and sincere soldier. The nation will always remain indebted to him for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” said Lt Col Anand.

Sources said the officer and the soldier had spotted freshly-dug soil on the dirt track during patrol. “They were checking the spot when the blast took place which caused the death of officer and injured a soldier”, said a source.

The improvised explosive device appears to have been planted recently by elements from across the Line of Control, sources said. They said this was a common modus operandi adopted by Pakistan-based terrorists to target Indian security forces deployed along the border.

The Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad had claimed responsibility for Thursday’s terror attack in south Kashmir’s Pulwama.

India has blamed Pakistan for the deadly attack and has it of harbouring terror outfits. Pakistan has distanced itself from the attack but India has rejected this statement. India has called for Masood Azhar, the Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, to be branded as a ‘designated terrorist’ by the United Nations.

A meeting of all political parties in New Delhi had also backed the security establishment all the way and condemned, not just the terror attack but also the support that terrorists received from across the border.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reacting to the terror attack, has said that the security forces have been given a free hand. Addressing a public gathering on Saturday, he said that the soldiers would decide on how and when to punish the perpetrators of the Pulwama attack.


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